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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - May 12, 2006

  • 2006 May 12
  • COMMENTS

 

5/12/06

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #6)

 

“Spiritual Motherhood”

Susanne Scheppmann, Co-Editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.  We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

My long sullen face refused to smile, even though Kay was making me laugh on the inside.  She continued to scrape out the pumpkins and throw the stringy pungent seeds at the five kids seated around the table.  Kay chortled as one hit my nose and hung down.

 

I was fourteen and motherless.  My mother died the previous August and anger raged in me.  I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t have a good time with this woman.”  The notion of betrayal seemed to lurk deep inside of me anytime I began to experience affection for Kay.

 

Kay continued to love me through all my ugly teen angst.  She proved the love of Jesus Christ to me through her unfailing love.  Kay is now my stepmother.  She eventually led me to accept Jesus as my own personal Savior.  Although Kay is not my biological mother, she is my spiritual mother.

 

It reminds me of the story of Naomi and Ruth.  Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law.  Naomi soon found herself a widow and both of her sons died.  After all this tragedy, she decided to go back to her hometown.  Naomi advised both of her widowed daughter-in-laws to go back to their own towns and find new husbands. 

 

But Ruth loved Naomi as her mother-in-law and spiritual mentor.  She did not want to be separated from Naomi or her God.  So Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16 NIV).

 

Naomi and Ruth travel not only the road back to Bethlehem, but they journeyed on the path of life together.  Their story continues with Naomi advising Ruth on matters of love and marriage.  Their tale ends happily ever after with these words:

The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer.  May he become famous throughout Israel!  He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.  For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth” (Ruth 4:14-15 NIV).

 

Spiritual motherhood holds many benefits.  I profited eternally from Kay’s spiritual teaching.  Also, God has allowed me the same opportunities as Ruth and Naomi. 

I am the biological mother of two sons and I now have two wonderful daughter-in-laws.  I pray I can exhibit the example of a godly woman to them.  God allowed me the honor of leading my own stepdaughter to accept Him as her Savior.  And if that wasn’t enough blessings, He grants me the privilege to help serve women through my home church and Proverbs 31 Ministries.

 

So many times, I feel the motherly emotions of our Key Verse, “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NIV).”

 

Indeed, spiritual motherhood is one of the greatest blessings of my life.  I would like to encourage you to search for women who need a spiritual mom.  I promise it will be a blessed experience for you.  You just might say, “It’s the best Mother’s Day ever!” 

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Open my eyes to opportunities to become a spiritual mom to someone.  Help me to lead them into a deeper knowledge of you.  Lord, let me make an eternal difference.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Read the Book of Ruth through slowly.  Write down how Naomi guided and advised Ruth.  Make notes how God blessed Naomi throughout the book of Ruth.  Then take a few moments and reflect on “spiritual motherhood”. 

 

Reflection Points:

Has someone in my life been a spiritual mom to me?

 

Have I ever thanked her?

 

Who looks to me to guide them in their walk of faith?

 

What can I do to encourage her?

 

Power Verses:

Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 16:20-21, “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 31:26, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (NIV)

 

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Traveling Together, by Karla Worley

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_travelingTogether.htm

 

At the Feet of Ordinary Women, by Angie Conrad, et al

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_atTheFeet.htm

 

Blended Families, by Maxine Marsolini

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_blendedFam.htm

 

 

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